US8863399B2 - Tape measure - Google Patents

Tape measure Download PDF

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Publication number
US8863399B2
US8863399B2 US13594331 US201213594331A US8863399B2 US 8863399 B2 US8863399 B2 US 8863399B2 US 13594331 US13594331 US 13594331 US 201213594331 A US201213594331 A US 201213594331A US 8863399 B2 US8863399 B2 US 8863399B2
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US
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Grant
Patent type
Prior art keywords
tape
measurement scale
tape measure
end portion
axis
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Active, expires
Application number
US13594331
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US20130047455A1 (en )
Inventor
Michael S. Steele
Steven W. Hyma
Wade F. Burch
Cheng Zhang Li
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp
Original Assignee
Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01BMEASURING LENGTH, THICKNESS OR SIMILAR LINEAR DIMENSIONS; MEASURING ANGLES; MEASURING AREAS; MEASURING IRREGULARITIES OF SURFACES OR CONTOURS
    • G01B3/00Instruments as specified in the subgroups and characterised by the use of mechanical measuring means
    • G01B3/02Rulers or tapes with scales or marks for direct reading
    • G01B3/10Rulers or tapes with scales or marks for direct reading flexible, e.g. tape measures
    • G01B3/1082Details of the tape per se, e.g. scale structure, indicia on scale, particular material for the tape

Abstract

A tape measure includes a housing assembly defining a cavity and a tape port. A measuring tape is selectively extendable and retractable from the tape port. The measuring tape includes a spool portion disposed within the cavity and an end portion. A top surface extends from the end portion to the spool portion, and a bottom surface extends from the end portion to the spool portion opposite the top surface. A hook member is fixedly coupled to a end portion of the measuring tape. A first measurement scale is defined on the top surface and includes indicia having a first orientation relative to a longitudinal tape axis. The bottom surface includes a second measurement scale with indicia having a second orientation relative to the longitudinal tape axis. The second orientation is substantially opposite the first orientation.

Description

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/527,964, filed on Aug. 26, 2011, the entire contents of which are incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates to measurement devices, and in particular, the invention relates to a tape measure.

SUMMARY

In one embodiment, the invention provides a tape measure. The tape measure includes a housing assembly defining a cavity and a tape port. A measuring tape is selectively extendable and retractable from the tape port. The measuring tape includes a spool portion disposed within the cavity and an end portion. A top surface extends from the end portion to the spool portion, and a bottom surface extends from the end portion to the spool portion opposite the top surface. A hook member is fixedly coupled to a end portion of the measuring tape. A first measurement scale is defined on the top surface and includes indicia having a first orientation relative to a longitudinal tape axis. The bottom surface includes a second measurement scale with indicia having a second orientation relative to the longitudinal tape axis. The second orientation is substantially opposite the first orientation.

Other aspects of the invention will become apparent by consideration of the detailed description and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tape measure according to one construction of the invention.

FIG. 2 is an opposite perspective view of the tape measure of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an opposite perspective view of the tape measure of FIG. 1, according to another construction of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a bottom perspective view of the tape measure of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a bottom perspective view of a tape measure according to another construction of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a front side and back side of a measuring tape according to another aspect of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a top view of various measuring scales applied to portions of a measuring tape according to yet another aspect of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Before any embodiments of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the following drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or of being carried out in various ways.

FIGS. 1-4 illustrate a length measurement device, more specifically, a tape measure 10. Referring to FIG. 1, the tape measure 10 includes a coilable measuring tape 14 and a housing assembly 18.

The measuring tape 14 is retractable and extendable from the housing assembly 18 along a tape axis 20. A hook member 22 is fixedly coupled to an end portion 26 of the measuring tape 14. Magnets 30 are coupled to a vertical face 32 of the hook member 22. The magnets 30 may be coupled to the vertical face 32 by a rivet, a press-fit, an adhesive, or other fastening means. Additionally, an over-coating 34 may be applied to the hook member 22 and magnets 30. The over-coating 34 may be a paint, an epoxy-resin, tape or other coating type. The over-coating 34 assists in protecting the magnets 30 and hook member 22 from scratches and dirt, while also aiding retention of the magnets 30 to the hook member 22.

The remainder of the measuring tape 14 forms a spool 36 rotatably disposed about an axis 38 of the tape measure 10. A retraction mechanism 42 is coupled to the spool 36 to provide for powered refraction of the measuring tape 14. The retraction mechanism 42 may include an elongated coiled spring for motive force. A tape lock 46 is provided to selectively engage at least one of the spool 36, the retraction mechanism 42, or the tape 14 such that a segment of the measuring tape 14 remains extended a desired length beyond the housing.

The housing assembly 18 includes a first side wall 50, a second side wall 54, and a peripheral wall 58 connecting the first side wall 50 and the second side wall 54. The first side wall 50, second side wall 54, and peripheral wall 58 define an internal cavity 62 in which the spool 36 and retraction mechanism 42 are housed. In the illustrated construction, each of the first side wall 50 and the second side wall 54 has a substantially circular profile 66. In other embodiments, the side walls 50 and 54 may be rectangular or another polygonal shape. Portions of the housing assembly 18 may be co-molded or separately formed of a resilient material, such as a natural or synthetic rubber, forming housing bumpers 70. A support leg 74 extends from a lower portion 78 of the peripheral wall 58.

With continued reference to FIG. 1, a slot 82 is defined along a forward portion 86 of the peripheral wall 58. The slot 82 is provided to allow for sliding movement of the tape lock 46 relative to the housing assembly 18.

Below the slot 82, a tape port 90 is provided in the peripheral wall 58. The tape port 90 has an arcuate shape, corresponding to an arcuate cross-sectional profile of the measuring tape 14. The tape port 90 allows for the retraction and extension of the measuring tape 14 to and from the internal cavity 62. A brush or foam wiper member may be provided adjacent the tape port 90 for wiping dirt and debris from the tape 14 when retracting. The wiper member thus reduces the likelihood of the retraction mechanism 42 becoming fouled.

A guard member 98 is coupled to the housing assembly 18 adjacent the tape port 90. The guard member 98 is U-shaped, with a first leg 104 coupled to the first side wall 50, a second leg 108 coupled to the second side wall 54, and a connecting leg 112 extending between the first leg 104 and the second leg 108. The guard member 98, more specifically the connecting leg 112, is configured to engage the hook member 22 when the measuring tape 14 is fully retracted.

The guard member 98 shields a user's fingers from being struck by the hook member 22 when the measuring tape 14 is rapidly retracted into the internal cavity 62. The guard member 98 also shields the housing assembly from being struck by the hook member 22. In addition, a lower surface 116 of the guard member 98 is substantially aligned with the support leg 74, thereby allowing the tape measure 10 to stand upright on a surface to be measured. In some constructions, the guard member 98 may be formed of a resilient polymer, while in other constructions the guard member may be a substantially rigid material such as a metal, with other materials, combinations of materials, and constructions being possible.

In the illustrated construction of the tape measure 10, a laser 116 is coupled to the peripheral wall 58 between the first leg 104 and the second leg 108. The laser 116 has an illumination axis 120 substantially parallel with the tape axis 20. The laser 116 may be used as a pointer or for illumination of a line of measurement, plumb line, or other purpose. In some constructions, the laser may be a laser rangefinder for distance measurement.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, a resilient clip member 128 is fixedly coupled to the second side wall 54 of the housing assembly 18. The illustrated clip member 128 is unitarily formed of sheet metal. An outer wall 132 of the clip member 128 is defined by forward edge 136, a rear edge 140, and a bottom portion 144. The forward edge 136 and rear edge 140 are formed by rolling a portion of the outer wall 132 upon itself, resulting in smooth, rounded edge surfaces at 136 and 140. The bottom portion 144 of the outer wall 132 includes radiused corners 152 and an outwardly flared, angled bottom edge 156. The smooth, rounded edge surfaces 148, radiused corners 152, and outwardly flared, angled bottom edge 156 allow a user to more easily insert the clip member 128 into a pocket or over a belt.

FIG. 3 illustrates an alternative construction of a resilient clip member 160 fixedly coupled to the second side wall 54 of the housing 18. The resilient clip member 160 is generally U-shaped, with a first clip leg 164 and a second clip leg 168 coupled to the second side wall 58. A clip bottom leg 172 extends between the first clip leg 164 and the second clip leg 168. The clip bottom leg 172 is outwardly flared from the second side wall 54 to allow for smooth engagement of the clip 160 with a pant pocket or belt. The entire resilient clip member 160 has a substantially uniform, rounded cross section 176, and may be formed of wire or unitarily molded of a resilient polymer.

Referring to FIG. 4, a substantially V-shaped channel 180 is defined in a bottom surface 184 of the support leg 74. Portions of the V-shaped channel 180 include recessed magnetic elements 188. In some embodiments, the V-shaped channel 180 may be defined in a separately formed metallic insert coupled to the support leg. The metallic insert may itself be magnetic, or magnetic elements may be coupled to the metallic insert. The V-shaped channel 180 is provided to engage and partially receive circular-cross section work pieces such as pipes and conduits. The V-shaped channel 180 aides in maintaining the tape axis 20 (FIG. 1) substantially aligned with a longitudinal axis of the workpiece. Where the workpiece is ferromagnetic, the magnetic elements 188 detachably couple the tape measure to the workpiece for enhanced ease in taking measurements.

FIG. 5 illustrates an alternative construction of a tape measure 192. More specifically, FIG. 5 illustrates a bottom surface 196 of the tape measure 192. A V-shaped channel 204 is defined in the bottom surface 196 from a first end 208 to a second end 212 of the bottom surface 196. Magnet elements 216 are coupled to the bottom surface 196 within the V-shaped channel 204. The bottom surface 196 is knurled adjacent the V-shaped channel 204 to provide additional grip when engaging a work surface.

FIG. 6 illustrates a portion of a measuring tape 222 from opposing perspectives. The measuring tape 222 includes a first measurement scale 224 (e.g., in inches) on a front side 228 (or top) and a second measurement scale 230 on a back side 232 (or bottom). The first measurement scale 224 on the front side 228 and the second measurement scale 230 on the back side 232 having opposing orientations 236 and 240 relative to a longitudinal axis 242, such that a user may read measurements more easily from a variety of viewing positions. The first measurement scale 224 and the second measurement scale 230 each begin at an end portion 243 of the measuring tape 222. In the illustrated construction, the scale 224 includes numbers arranged vertically with the bottom of each number being further from the hook 22 than the top of the number. The scale 240 has the opposite orientation with the numbers arranged vertically such that the bottom of each number is nearer to the hook 22 than the top of the number. Of course, other constructions could reverse these orientations or use other orientations such as one in which the numbers of both orientations are rotated 90 degrees.

FIG. 7 illustrates center portions 245 of four measuring tapes 244, 248, 252, and 256. Each illustrated center portion 245 is between the 12 inch and 24 inch indicia of a first measurement scale 258. The center portion 245 is axially offset from the distal end (not shown) of each measuring tape (e.g., the center portion 245 begins at the 12 inch mark and extends to the 24 inch mark). Each of the measuring tapes 244, 248, 252, and 256 also include third measurement scales 260, 264, 268, and 272 (e.g., architectural scales) defined on either the front side 228 or the back side 232 of the measuring tape 222. FIG. 6 illustrates such a scale on the front side 228. As shown in FIG. 7, the third measurement scales are provided, for example, to measure dimensions on a scaled print and are subscales of the first measurement scale. The third measurement scale 260 is provided in ¼ inch increments. The third measurement scale 264 is provided in a combination of ¼ inch and ⅛ inch increments. The third measurement scale 268 is provided in ⅛ inch increments. The third measurement scale 272 is provided in 1/16 inch increments.

Various features and advantages of the invention are set forth in the following claims.

Claims (12)

The invention claimed is:
1. A tape measure comprising:
a housing assembly defining a cavity and a tape port;
a measuring tape selectively extendable and retractable from the tape port, the measuring tape having a spool portion disposed within the cavity and an end portion, the measuring tape defining a top surface extending from the end portion to the spool portion, and a bottom surface extending from the end portion to the spool portion opposite the top surface; and
a hook member fixedly coupled to a end portion of the measuring tape;
a first measurement scale defined on the top surface and including indicia having a first orientation relative to a longitudinal tape axis;
a second measurement scale defined on the bottom surface and including indicia having a second orientation relative to the longitudinal tape axis, the second orientation being substantially opposite the first orientation.
2. The tape measure of claim 1, further comprising a third measurement scale defined on one of the top surface and the bottom surface.
3. The tape measure of claim 2, wherein the third measurement scale is defined in a center portion of the tape that is axially offset from the end portion.
4. The tape measure of claim 3, wherein the center portion of the measuring tape is defined between approximately a 12 inch marking and approximately a 24 inch marking of the first measurement scale.
5. The tape measure of claim 2, wherein the third measurement scale is a subscale of the first measurement scale.
6. The tape measure of claim 5, wherein the third measurement scale includes a ¼ inch subscale.
7. The tape measure of claim 5, wherein the third measurement scale includes a ⅛ inch subscale.
8. The tape measure of claim 5, wherein the third measurement scale includes a 1/16 inch subscale.
9. The tape measure of claim 1, wherein the first measurement scale and the second measurement scale each begin at the end portion of the measuring tape.
10. The tape measure of claim 1, wherein the longitudinal axis is disposed midway between a first lateral edge and a second lateral edge of the tape, the first measurement scale is disposed between the longitudinal axis and the first lateral edge, and a third measurement scale is disposed between the longitudinal axis and the second lateral edge.
11. The tape measure of claim 1, wherein the first measurement scale includes a first plurality of numbers each having a first top and a first bottom, the first numbers arranged vertically along the longitudinal tape axis such that for each first number, the first bottom is nearer to the hook member than the first top.
12. The tape measure of claim 11, wherein the second measurement scale includes a second plurality of numbers each having a second top and a second bottom, the second numbers arranged vertically along the longitudinal tape axis such that for each second number, the second top is nearer to the hook member than the second bottom.
US13594331 2011-08-26 2012-08-24 Tape measure Active 2033-04-16 US8863399B2 (en)

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US201161527964 true 2011-08-26 2011-08-26
US13594331 US8863399B2 (en) 2011-08-26 2012-08-24 Tape measure

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US13594331 US8863399B2 (en) 2011-08-26 2012-08-24 Tape measure
US29469738 USD733597S1 (en) 2012-07-30 2013-10-14 Tape measure

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US13561742 Continuation-In-Part US9080849B2 (en) 2011-07-29 2012-07-30 Tape measure

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US29469738 Continuation-In-Part USD733597S1 (en) 2011-07-29 2013-10-14 Tape measure

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Families Citing this family (15)

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US20130126541A1 (en) * 2011-01-14 2013-05-23 Aaw Products, Inc. Magnetic item holder
US9080849B2 (en) * 2011-07-29 2015-07-14 Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation Tape measure
CA2784047C (en) 2011-07-29 2015-08-11 Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation Tape measure
USD733597S1 (en) 2012-07-30 2015-07-07 Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation Tape measure
US9267778B2 (en) 2012-01-19 2016-02-23 Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation Tape measure
CN106969681A (en) * 2012-03-06 2017-07-21 米沃奇电动工具公司 Tape measure used for measuring workpiece and method for controlling movement of tape from the tape measure
US9046340B2 (en) * 2012-09-28 2015-06-02 Precaster Enterprises Co., Ltd. Length dual measuring device
US9188418B2 (en) 2013-08-22 2015-11-17 Mir A. Mamatkhan Tape measure device, system and method
US9841264B2 (en) * 2014-08-26 2017-12-12 Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. Tape rule assembly with a flexible cover at opening in housing
USD785476S1 (en) 2015-12-10 2017-05-02 Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation Tape measure
USD785475S1 (en) 2015-12-10 2017-05-02 Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation Tape measure
USD783430S1 (en) 2016-01-07 2017-04-11 Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation Tape measure
USD787347S1 (en) 2016-01-07 2017-05-23 Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation Tape measure
USD783429S1 (en) 2016-01-07 2017-04-11 Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation Tape measure
USD788611S1 (en) 2016-06-01 2017-06-06 Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation Tape measure

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